By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – After nine years, Rick Napper is leaving Magnolia Regional Medical Center with a bigger footprint and a bigger medical staff.
But the Corinth hospital chief executive officer, who will step down July 12 to take a new job at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, hopes a singular focus will remain – “One Patient At a Time.”
“As long as you focus on the patient, everything else takes care of itself,” said Napper, noting the hospital motto.
City and county leaders lauded Napper’s leadership in stabilizing and expanding the stand-alone, government-owned hospital.
“The hospital has grown and it’s been very successful,” said Corinth Mayor Tommy Irvin. “It’s really been moved to a different level.”
During Napper’s tenure, the hospital has seen two major physical expansions – the most recent opened in February with a new hospital entrance, emergency department and expansion to 200 beds. Local residents have access to expanded services, especially for cancer, heart and medical imaging.
Beyond expanding building and programs, Napper has helped build a strong staff, said Lowell Hinton, president of the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors.
“I hate to see him go,” Hinton said. “He’s leaving us in a good position.”
The incoming chief executive, Ronny Humes, who is current chief operating officer, joined the Magnolia staff five years ago.
Humes’ history with both Magnolia and Napper goes back even farther – both worked with Quorum Health Resources, which managed the hospital before Napper was named chief executive.
“I think Magnolia is positioned really well to deal with whatever comes down the road,” Humes said.
Napper said he’s proud to have been part of restoring the community’s confidence in the rural hospital.
“Clearly relationships are the key to success in health care in the future,” Napper said. “… I can say, Magnolia is better positioned than ever to stay independent.”